Author: Timothy Goss

We are sitting awaiting the bus. It’s hot and we sweat beneath the binary dance of our stars stripping great swaths of burning energy from their brethren. The Bus Station is busier than usual, more and more use its cool shaded concrete floors and walls to bed down upon or against, belongings stuffed into clothes and bags. I step over two bloodied torsos, snoring and spitting in their hooch filled sleep. Some are always left behind.

The clock on the tower sounds noon by barely moving the air around it. Since the end of the last century, it’s been impossible to discern seasons. The planet has relinquished everything we need, nourishment, warmth, resources, a place to call home again, but still, it holds back. There’s no doubt we was lucky to find such an accommodating being, but now it’s hospitality wanes.

The bus arrives, stinking in the heat. Thirty of us drive out of town. We’re appreciative of the cool air-conditioned interior, like lounging in a cool bath or pool. The great red and yellow eyes of the sky spiral unceasingly, forever tearing at the others cornea, corona. These great glowing orbs are the life of this system without which nothing would be possible.

The Great UmpUS took us from our sterile origin and paved the way to the stars. It was only through this unique vision that we were able to discover our true path as species and colonise our second home, and then on to our third and fourth and fifth – ad infinitum. Our leaders drape themselves in the regal Orange robes cut from the Great UmpUS itself, and it’s kin. The orange skin belies the power and clarity of our leaders since the first was derived from the Great UmpUS itself.

We pass Moloch Lake, shiny in sterility. It was once full of creatures, over flowing as the environment dictated. Few of the submerged Things had natural predators until we took possession. The old show continues as images of the great strides we have taken in possessing this selfish planet are played out on the screens provided for our entertainment and enlightenment. Excited talk of taming it’s self-seeking nature and tasting its delicious bounty fills the bus. As we’ve done before so we shall do again, using all its resources no matter the planetary resistance. This is survival and as our Leaders, tell us, “…IT IS THE ONLY WAY.” For they make the decisions citizens cannot.

We pass through sheets of white light, seams of vibrant colour, riding the waves to brighten the mind and stimulate senses. I notice the hands and forearms of the traveler next to me like flinty rocks, a consequence of infestation, jagged and scarring, something like this egocentric orb. But they are not alone, the condition affects seventy percent of us now.

We are taken to the broader lands where the iron fields reflect heat and light. Today it is our turn to reach the top. For every emigration the chosen are the first to launch, it’s a lottery and we’re all entered.
The Klein cannon awaits its steerage. It smells like something old and rotten, or is that the stench of this rotting place?

The fuse is lit as we chant our way back to the stars and our new home… “We are the First. We are the FIRST.” The Great UmpUs would be so proud.